New Jersey reality shows to get dose of zoning realities

April 14, 2014 3:40:47 AM PDT
Reality shows in New Jersey may get a dose of zoning realities.

Middletown officials are pushing new ordinances to limit filming in the community. The proposals include requiring TV crews to get special permits to shoot. Officials say the move is in response to the surge of post-Superstorm Sandy home improvement shows.

Officials deny it is an attempt to deter the "Jersey Shore" spin-off featuring Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino, scheduled to be filmed in Middletown this spring.

Town officials say they want to minimize the aggravation for residents and avoid footing the bill for traffic control and other expenses.

"We get a lot of requests from home-improvement reality shows," Middletown Township administrator Tony Mercantantehe said. "We probably get five requests a year. We need a formal process."

The town was used as a location for filming 1962's "The Miracle Worker," starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke in the story of the life of Helen Keller.

Township attorney Brian Nelson said the regulations wouldn't affect someone filming a home video, but would establish a mechanism for film companies to apply for permits and the town to recover costs.

Last year, Toms River passed regulations to require film companies to obtain permission to film or be fined $100 to $500 per day. The town was approached by a production company in 2012 to set a "Jersey Shore" spinoff there.